Information for candidates
Help preparing for your interview
- Recruitment and selection procedure
- The selection interview
- Useful tips
- After the interview
The information you have already supplied in your application form and references (if you have agreed for these to be obtained at this stage) will have provided us with very useful information about you.
This information has demonstrated that your experience, abilities and skills are likely to match those required for the vacancy. But you have been invited for interview and tests (if required) so that you can demonstrate that you are the best person for the job.
We ask you to keep the interview appointment and arrive in good time, usually ten minutes beforehand. Please keep a relevant phone number to hand to notify us if you cannot attend, or are likely to be late.
If you need special access into the building for your interview or any equipment or arrangements to assist with a disability, please let us know in advance so appropriate arrangements can be made.
The letter that invited you to interview will probably explain the length of the interview, which will usually be between 30 and 40 minutes. Most interviews are with a selection panel of two or three NERC staff who will talk to you about the job on offer.
The panel members will have relevant specialist knowledge that they will use to assess your suitability for the post. The type of information that they will be trying to draw out will be:
- an insight into the type of person that you are, what makes you tick, your opinions.
- if employed: skills gained in your present and previous jobs, your working methods and ideas for improvements
- if recently in education: skills/insights gained both academically and in the wider context of your school/college/university
- if unemployed: skills gained in membership of local or hobby groups or activities, travel etc.
- to apply the knowledge that you have gained
- to analyse, reason and judge
- to sort out essential aspects of a problem from less important ones.
The board will ask you questions on a range of topics. They will be designed to test you, but not to trick you. It is worth remembering that there may be no right or wrong answer to some of the questions. The panel are interested in finding out about your views, opinions and ideas and whether you are able to formulate reasoned arguments.
If you are unsure about any question, please ask. Also, remember that the meeting should be a two-way process, so, at the end of the interview, please ask any questions that you feel have not been answered. You should concentrate on those most important to you as the panel's time is fairly limited. There is no need to ask questions unless you truly need information. You will have the opportunity to discuss salary etc if you are offered the job.
Think before you answer the questions.
Listen carefully and ensure you reply to the actual question asked. Exclude anything which is not relevant to the question or which does not lead from it in a positive way.
Ask for clarification if you do not understand.
Try to avoid closed replies. A simple yes' or no' is an opportunity lost but beware of rambling or being vague.
Try not to bluff your way through an answer. If you do not know, you would be better advised to say so.
Try to relax! Easier said than done but the panel will make some allowances for nerves.
Please remember the panel wants to get the best out of you and have themselves experienced being on your side of the table.
You will usually be notified of the outcome within two weeks of the interview. If you have not heard after this time (or the date given to you at interview) please contact us for information.